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March 18, 2013

The Women's Committee of the Cleveland Play House

The Women’s Committee of the Cleveland Play House was founded to further the interests of the Play House, initially serving as liaison between the theatre and the public. The first Women’s Committee meeting was held in the Brooks Theatre in May 1932 at the request of the Board of Trustees. At that time several committees were formed to assist Play House personnel in the areas of subscription sales, promotional and social events.

ballet.jpg Admission ticket to Women's Committee fundraising event.

These early assignments quickly expanded to encompass twenty-one committees devoted to such tasks as event coordination, ushering, children’s theatre efforts, marketing campaigns and major fundraising drives which essentially relieved the Play House of the expense of administrative staff in the hard times of the 1930’s. Their stated goal was “To assist in every way possible in any way help was needed” which resulted in the cultivation of a dedicated and multi-talented volunteer work force supporting every operation of the theatre for eighty years.

Fundraising was an important function of the Women’s Committee and their aim was to have fun doing it. Planning and executing countless luncheons, balls, benefit performances, fashion shows, comedy revues, gift shops, tours and commemorative publications over the lifespan of the committee raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid the theatre and spread good will throughout the community. Over time, the group laid the foundation for a Men’s Committee to broaden the volunteer base among Play House members. Perhaps best known for establishing and managing the Play House Club in the 1960’s, the Men’s Committee also engaged in a wide array of projects designed to support the Play House.

mens.2.jpg Men's Committee social event invitation.

In October 2012, membership of the Women’s Committee closed the first chapter of their history with the Play House by organizing one last luncheon, the proceeds of which were combined with the balance of their treasury to create the Women’s Committee of The Cleveland Play House Endowment Fund.

Contact Special Collections for details about our current exhibit of Cleveland Play House Archives material.

Posted by exo2 at March 18, 2013 01:58 PM

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